January 9, 2013

Italy, Part Due

We're back and better that ever!

Well, we’re back and better that ever!

The weather was perfect, albeit a little cold, Rome was great for Christmas, and Florence was great for New Year’s. Meanwhile, Lexi and I stayed mostly disconnected from the Internet, often stealing away to Facebook to share a photo or two, but overall a successful reorientation of priorities on each other. All in all, Italy was a fascinating time for me and there are many a blog post that will be written specifically because of (or in spite of) my experiences there.

In the meantime, I wanted to discuss New Year’s resolutions since it is almost always a hot topic at the beginning of a year. I will, as in previous years, forego the process of setting unrealistic goals for myself that will inevitably be relegated to the pile of failures that is endemic of such ideas.

Instead, I decided to make a list of the things that I want to do this year, almost as a subjective bucket list, as listed below (what follows is a truncated list):

  1. Get more sleep
  2. Listen to more music
  3. Watch less TV
  4. Read more for pleasure
  5. Learn another language
  6. Purge distractions, both digital and physical

As can be seen, I am setting forward ideas of what I would like to focus on this year. Each of the listed items is not measurable from the perspective outside of my own head, but I will know if I am succeeding or failing at any one of them over time during the year.

I felt that last year was overly focused on my graduate studies, which meant that reading for pleasure was basically nonexistent and TV was the easiest way to unwind. This year, I want TV will take a back seat to music and audiobooks or leisure reading and hanging out at coffee shops.

How I normally choose to spend my time was often a focal point of the trip to Italy, which I did not expect. In fact, I think I turned a corner in Italy that I didn’t know was coming (even bringing me to tears one evening): I am ready to part with childish things to become a man (Corinthians 13:11).

I always come back to the initial step, about which I wrote in Going Legit. The fact is that the closer I come to where I want my life to be, even in the afore-listed terms, the further I am from where I began. In other words, as I mature, I am not closing in on something, I am instead getting further away from my current state of mind. 

The next step, and possibly a more difficult one, for another post entirely is my ability to pick and choose how and where I spend my time or possibly how I deal with the realization that how I may spend my time is worth less than it should be.

Probably not what many of you expected to read about in a post about Italy, but the trip was a crossroads for me that I will be attempting to understand for many months to come.

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